Using the Simple Ocean Data Assimilation (SODA), NCEP/NCAR reanalysis and the GISST datasets from 1950 – 1999, and an atmosphere-ocean coupled general circulation model, we explored the possible existence of decadal Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) variability for the first time. We find that there are strong decadal IOD events, and that the time series of the decadal IOD and decadal ENSO indices are not well correlated. The simulated decadal signal of the IOD index is highly correlated with the 20°C isotherm depth anomaly, indicating that ocean dynamics is involved in the decadal IOD. It is also associated with the zonal wind anomaly. We suggest that the decadal IOD in the tropics is interpreted as decadal modulation of the interannual IOD events.
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